Experiment With Gratitude

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When was the last time you said “thank you”? With all your heart? Everybody preaches that an “attitude of gratitude” is the key to success, but very few really practice it. Well, start by experience gratitude first, as in doing an experiment with it, and take it from there.

I once did a gratitude experiment. I decided to write down at the end of the day all the things I was grateful for. I created a sort of a gratitude journal. Didn’t plan in advance what to write, went with the flow. Each evening, five minutes.

After 30 days I re-read it. I was amazed by this simple fact: the things I was grateful for grew from one day to another. It was like feeding them with my gratitude. Looking back after 30 days made it obvious: I experienced more of what I was grateful for in my life.

Expressing gratitude doesn’t cost you anything, but it can bring you so much. 

Why Gratitude Works

Every time I’m grateful, something interesting happens.

First of all, I reinforce the object of my gratitude. If, for instance, I’m grateful for my meal, I reinforce that meal, I validate it.

Second, I feel good about myself. You can’t be grateful if you feel bad about yourself. Ever tried this? It’s impossible. Gratitude reinforces you too, validates you as the source of it.

So, when you’re grateful, you create a bridge of feeling good between you and the object of your gratitude. That’s how gratitude works. It’s so simple to describe it, yet so difficult to experience it.

Why It’s Difficult To Experiment Gratitude

If it’s so simple to express it and to pass it along, why it’s so difficult to experience? Why it’s so hard to implement it in our day to day life?

Because we don’t really understand how things work, at the subtle level. We don’t understand what’s the cause of our feelings. We tie these feelings to external circumstances.

For instance, if it’s cloudy and raining, we feel depressed. Most of the time. But, sometimes, we’re not. There are moments when rain can be joyful and exhilarating, for instance on a  very hot summer day. During those days, rain is a blessing.

Well, rain is rain. It’s the same thing in both situations. What changes is not rain, it’s our perception.

Alas, we’re not aware of that. We habitually link rain to depression and when that link is triggered by the actual meteorological phenomena, the depression goes out on auto-pilot. It’s just popping out from some hidden corner of our consciousness without asking for permission. Because it doesn’t need any permission at all: the moment when we linked it to some external circumstance, it got a green light. We don’t need to interfere. The process is created.

We live on auto-pilot, being driven by outside circumstances and swinging from one feeling to another, without control. And when it comes to gratitude, we find it difficult to express it because, as with every other feeling, we need some external circumstance to trigger it. And that circumstance is not always present.

For instance, during religious holidays, we are more inclined to experiment gratitude, because we learned that specific trigger before. We find it appropriate now. It’s normal.

During our day to day routine, we don’t do it because there’s no previous link. No social norm to respect, no trigger created. We don’t know if it’s appropriate or not.

But once we understand that expressing gratitude is not limited to a specific circumstance, the whole game changes.

And we feel grateful not because it’s allowed, or because our social norm (under the form of religion or politeness) allows us, but because we know it creates a bridge of well being between us and the object of our gratitude.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Aditi Tyagi says:

    Nicely written. Indeed gratitude is one of the most powerful forces of nature. Things begin to change the moment we are grateful for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways.

      Like

  2. Indeed…gratitude is a great attitude…😅😅😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Gratitude calms our soul and when our soul is calm everything is better. Isn’t it?

      Like

      1. Yes!!! Have an excellent day!😍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Thank you and you too 🙂

        Like

  3. Well said! We can never overstate the value of a grateful heart. Our own experiences with gratitude fuel further feelings in the days ahead to share with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Science suggests that gratitude might help us cope with stress and trauma better. In fact, gratitude may help us better weather and recover from these hard times. Glad you liked the article.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much for sharing more.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Most welcome

        Like

    1. GS says:

      Thank you for the reblog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a joy and pleasure to read and share your posts with followers, My Dear! Hope you have a great day!! xoxox 😘💕🎁🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  4. James Sweeney says:

    What a lovely post! I’ll share this on my page for my readers to see 🙂

    Gratitude is such an interesting topic to write about, I did it a few months back, and it was so nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Research in positive psychology indicates that those who practice gratitude have lower self-reported levels of depression and stress, and they’re more satisfied with their social relationships. Studies also show that daily gratitude can improve sleep, increases energy levels and can decrease blood pressure

      Like

  5. James Sweeney says:

    Reblogged this on Sweeney's Blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you for the reblog.

      Like

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